Binge drinking is a common and risky pattern of alcohol consumption that is responsible for more than half of the 80,000 alcohol-attributable deaths that occur each year in the United States.
"If alcohol policies were a newly discovered gene, pill or vaccine, we'd be investing billions of dollars to bring them to market," said Tim Naimi, MD, MPH, senior author of the study, and associate professor of medicine at BUSM and attending physician at BMC.
While previous research demonstrates that individual alcohol policies can reduce risky drinking and alcohol-related harms, this is the first study to characterize the effect of the overall alcohol policy environment. States with stronger policy scores had lower rates of binge drinking, and states with larger increases in policies had larger decreases in binge drinking over time.
Specifically, compared with states with weaker policy environments, states with stronger policy environments had only one-fourth of the likelihood of having binge drinking rates in the top 25% of states, even after accounting for a variety of factors associated with alcohol consumption such as age, sex, race, religious composition, income, geographic region, urban-rural differences, and levels of police and alcohol enforcement personnel.
Alcohol policy environments differed considerably between states, with policy scores varying up to threefold between them. Among all states and Washington D.C., almost half had a rating of less than 50 percent of the maximum possible score in any particular year from 2000-2010, and states in the bottom quartile of policy strength had binge drinking rates that were 33% higher than those in the top quartile. "Unfortunately, most states have not taken advantage of these policies to help drinkers consume responsibly, and to protect innocent citizens from the devastating second-hand effects and economic costs from excessive drinking," added Naimi.
Overall, analyses showed that the policy environment was largely responsible for state-level differences in binge drinking. "The bottom line is that this study adds an important dimension to a large body of research demonstrating that alcohol policies matter -- and matter a great deal – for reducing and preventing the fundamental building block of alcohol-related problems," said Naimi.
The study was supported by NIH grant AA018377. Co-authors include Jason Blanchette, MPH; Toben Nelson, ScD, MPH; Thien Nguyen, MPH; Nadiua Oussayef, JD, MPH: Timothy Heeren, PhD; Paul Gruenwald, PhD; Jame Mosher, JD; and Ziming Xuan, ScD, SM.
Gina DiGravio | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences